Press Release (ePRNews.com) - PHILADELPHIA - Sep 13, 2017 - For more than 40 years, JoAnne Fischer has advocated tirelessly – and very effectively – for the needs and rights of women, children and families here in the Philadelphia region, primarily, but also statewide nationally and globally. Today, she announces her plans for retirement, effective January 2018, as Executive Director of Maternity Care Coalition (MCC), a nonprofit agency that focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, parents and young children.
In her 28 years at MCC, JoAnne has grown the agency from a staff of three who served two Philadelphia neighborhoods, to an agency that employs 175 staff and provides nearly 12,000 home visits annually and more than 300 Early Head Start childcare spots across of southeastern Pennsylvania counties as well as a long list of direct services, education, and research and policy initiatives.
Liza Seltzer, President of Maternity Care Coalition’s Board of Directors says, “JoAnne’s leadership will be missed not only by MCC but also throughout the maternal-child health and early education communities in the region. The strength of the organization JoAnne built is a testament to her highly effective personal blend of expertise, vision and passion. She’ll leave MCC positioned for growth with many leaders inside and outside the agency that she has mentored and will be able to provide ongoing contributions in the form of service, research and policy to support families who need help the most.”
Liza goes on to say, “On a personal level, I’ll miss working so closely with JoAnne—she is truly inspiring–but appreciate that after so many years of relentless commitment and transformational work for the wellbeing of babies and their families, she is ready – and deservedly so — to have the chance to spend more time with her own grandchildren.”
JoAnne’s tenure at MCC is marked by many accomplishments, including MCC’s recent, significant expansion to Montgomery and Bucks counties through a merger with Child, Home & Community.
· MCC’s signature MOMobile program that utilizes community Health workers to provide culturally competent education and support to pregnant women and families in their home.
· MCC’s involvement in the Multi Hospital task force that made Philadelphia the City of Motherly Love and promoted baby friendly hospitals and breastfeeding friendly workplaces.
· Advocacy that resulted in PA law prohibiting the shackling of incarcerated women during childbirth and helped establish a doula program to support women at Riverside Correctional Facility.
· The selection of MCC as one of three domestic partners in the Merck for Mothers global initiative to reduce maternal mortality.
· The research partnership with the Temple University Infant and Child Lab where the focus was on the critical period of development 0– 3 years of age and the impact it has on language development, school readiness and family engagement.
JoAnne says, ” I believe that MCC’s success has been keeping pregnant women and parents of infants at the center of our work. We are unique in that we organize our work around yhoi a constituency rather than a funding stream. If people ask are you a public health organization? A child welfare agency ? An early learning program? A mental health provider? A community collaborator? I say yes! We bring the voices of families to academic research, community dialogue and policy makers. “
Over the years, JoAnne has received numerous awards locally and nationally for her outstanding work in leadership and commitment to service. Notable recognitions include the White House Champion of Change Recipient, Woman of Courage by Women’s Way, Woman of Distinction by the Philadelphia Business Journal and Maternity Care Coalition’s Spirit of Motherhood Award.
About Maternity Care Coalition
Founded in 1980, Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, parents, and young children. Its comprehensive approach includes public policy, research, and services for families.
Since its founding MCC has touched more than 100,000 families throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, focusing particularly on neighborhoods with high rates of poverty, infant mortality, health disparities, and changing immigration patterns.
Maternity Care Coalition